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The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) has petitioned the Supreme Court to declare the Citizenship Amendment Act unconstitutional.

In the petition, the party, a member of the opposition Congress led United Democratic Front in Kerala, said the bill that was ratified by both houses of parliament earlier this week was brought with malafide intention and thus unconstitutional. It said the bill was brought in only to provide citizenship to 15 lakh Hindus who were found to be illegal immigrants when the National Registry of Citizens (NRC) was taken. It also claimed that that at the same time, Muslims who were also illegal immigrants were sought to be deported and kept in detention in special camps.

The general secretary of the IUML, P K Kunjalikutty, MP said that the bill is against the constitution as it discriminates people on the basis of religion. “No party, even with a brute majority in Parliament, can take a decision that goes the basic principles of the constitution”, ANI quoted him saying.

The controversial Bill seeks to give Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians fleeing persecution in Muslim-majority Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The CAB was an election promise of the BJP in the last two Lok Sabha elections. The Congress and a few other parties are also planning to file similar petitions in the next few days.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind (JUeH) President Maulana Arshad Madani said that it will challenge the Act in the apex court as it Act is against the basic structure of the Indian Constitution. The Bill violates Article 14 and 15 of the Constitution, which explicitly states that no citizen in the country will be discriminated on the basis of religion, and every citizen will be treated equally, Madani was quoted as saying.

Madani further quoted as saying: “Now the judiciary can make a better decision on it. Advocates have been consulted in this regard and a petition is being drafted.”

—India Legal Bureau

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